Passengers on a Jetstar flight to Perth were forced to move seats throughout the trip so their off-balance plane could land safely.
The incident occurred on October 29 and is now the subject of an Australian Transport Security Bureau (ATSB) investigation.
In the course of takeoff from Melbourne, the crew noticed the plane was “nose-heavy” as they attempted to get the Airbus A-321 off the ground.
The pilot said it was essential to pull back nearly totally on the controls in order to lift the nose off the runway.
After takeoff, flight attendants had been asked to count the passengers and report back on their seating locations.
Following getting into the information into their flight management personal computer, the pilots realised they ought to not have taken off because there had been as well many passengers seated towards the front.
“Passengers had been relocated inside the aircraft cabin to return the aircraft to within allowable limits for the remainder of the flight and landing,” the ATSB said.
Head of Aviation at the University of NSW, Professor Jason Middleton, said it was important that any aircraft was appropriately balanced.
“If the aircraft is loaded also far forward, then the handle surface isn’t enough for the pilot to in fact lift the nose up,” Professor Middleton stated.
“You do not want to have all your heavy rugby league varieties up the front and all your dancers up the back, or vice versa.”
Second Jetstar flight becoming investigated
ATSB will also examine yet another Jetstar flight 10 days earlier, which took off with 16 much more passengers than the pilots knew about.
As a outcome, the flight from Brisbane to Melbourne was much more than 1,300 kilograms heavier than the crew was anticipating.
Professor Middleton mentioned the concern could “absolutely” lead to a concern.
“Based on where [the further passengers] have been located in the cabin, that could make a substantial difference to the balance.
“Loading the right takeoff weight into the aircraft’s flight management personal computer is essential in modern day jets,” he said.
“There are implications for takeoff distance needed and landing distance necessary.”
Right after discovering the error for the duration of the flight, the pilots reprogrammed their computers and the plane landed safely.
Jetstar pilots and ground crews will be interviewed as part of the investigation.
A Jetstar spokesman stated the airline was investigating both events and functioning closely with the ATSB to help with its inquiries.
“Given that these incidents took place in October, we have place further measures in spot to verify our flights have been loaded properly and that aircraft weight and balance is properly accounted for,” the spokesman mentioned.
“We’ve had no flights operate with this kind of error given that we introduced these measures.”
Topics: air-and-space, perth-6000, wa, australia, brisbane-4000, qld